Step back to the days before huge corporations took over the business of making soap. Soap makers took pride in their craft, producing fine soaps with recipes refined and passed down through the generations.
All That Lathers Is Not Soap
You've been near it all your life, bassinet to bath to boudoir. It has removed dirt and grime from your face, fingers, and knees. If you said naughty words your mother may have threatened to wash out your mouth with it. It has cleansed you, made you smell good, added a glow to your complexion, and helped make you feel fresher. But what do you really know about soap?

While the origin of soap is not well documented, it appears to have been available to the early civilizations after 2000 B.C. Contrary to what you might think, soap was not invented for the purpose of personal hygiene. The early references to soap were for the cleaning of textile fibers such as wool and cotton in preparation for weaving into cloth. There were difficulties in soap making. Most people who made soap down thru the centuries had no idea what occurred. They just made soap by trial and error and believing in many superstitions in how to make soap. The colonists believed that the tide and the phases of the moon affected soap. A Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, carefully warned that a sassafras stick was the only kind of implement suitable for stirring the soap and the stirring must be done always in the same direction. The hardest part in making soap was determining if the lye was of the correct strength. In order to learn this, soap makers floated either a potato or an egg in the lye. This was not a very accurate method of measuring lye.

Modern Soap
Today, most Americans purchase soap at the grocery store, where there is a wide array of choices, from scented bath bars, to powerful deodorant soaps. The product you regard as soap may not be soap at all, but a synthetic detergent "beauty" or "bath" bar. Per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "most soaps on the market today are not real soaps but rather detergent products, which have been created from petroleum-based ingredients." Other products, which call themselves soap, contain ingredients found in nature; but high-energy processes have radically changed these ingredients. The resulting soap bears little similarity to the soap made historically down thru the ages.

Handcrafted Soap
Handcrafted soap is produced using natural blends of oils that promote healthy skin. It leaves the natural glycerin and oils in the soap that commercially produced soaps remove. It is created from recipes, which date back hundreds of years when mankind appreciated and valued the earth and it's many gifts. Today's handcrafted soap is better and safer than the days of old though because of modern technology and the ability to calculate the necessary amounts of lye needed to produce soap.
Soaps can be produced with an assortment of fragrances including woodland, floral, and citrus scents, etc. The assortment of woodland fragrances can benefit hunters and naturalists by giving them a natural cover scent. People who enjoy aromatherapy can benefit from the array of natural essential oils. Claims have also been made that certain fragrances even deter insects such as those nasty mosquitoes. Handcrafted soap can be made with no added scents for those who have sensitive skin allergies.

I began making my own soap some time ago to alleviate the problems caused by commercially produced soap on my family's skin. I hope I have been able to impart some knowledge in regard to the facts and fallacies of modern "detergent bath and beauty bars" called soap and the benefits of handcrafted soaps. Today, when technology has complicated our lives and synthetic chemical compounds compromise our bodies, it is refreshing to return to the simple, natural things of life.


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